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There are many different types of midfielder, both in terms of their attributes and skill sets, and in the areas of the pitch they occupy. Below, we delve into those differences, and discuss how coaches can effectively develop midfielders in youth football environments. In This Article Understanding the Different Types of Midfielder Before developing midfielders, it’s important to understand the different roles in the middle of the pitch. To help, we’ll draw upon the work of Sunderland Head Coach Michael Beale, whose model of central…

This practice is designed to challenge players abilities to control possession of the ball and quickly transition to win back the ball when possession is lost. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Do you want to improve your ability to plan and deliver great sessions?…

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How to use this guide Understanding the session This session guide assumes you have 60 minutes with 16 players but as our guidelines point out, this can be adapted based on the number of players you have in your team. As your confidence grows you may adapt or experiment with the practices provided, but these tasks are designed to follow a process which gradually ramps up the challenge for the players from minute one to minute sixty. The key below outlines what the images mean…

The team at PDP have been providing coach education content to a global community of coaches for a decade.  In that time, we’ve spent a lot of time asking coaches what they want, how we can better serve them, and experimenting with various types of content including interviews, research reviews, guides, and more. This means that over the last ten years, we have tried dozens of new projects (some of which have failed), all with the goal of solving critical problems for coaches. In this…

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to player development. Young people develop at different ages and stages of participation, and at different rates throughout their journeys in the game. Therefore it’s vital that we individualise our approach to player development. In this article, Fulham FC coach Gabriel Flores explains how he uses strength-based training to help players maximise their potential. In This Article Understanding Strength-Based Coaching The best youth programmes seek to individualise the way they work with players. For Flores, one of the best ways…

In this Masterclass webinar replay, the PDP team share a top presentation on developing 1v1 players. PDP Co-Founder Dave Wright hosts a conversation with PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright and PDP Coaching Advisor, James Coutts on the value of 1v1s and how you can support your players confidence in developing this key attribute. The conversation covers a range of topics related to 1v1 football: – Position specific 1v1s – Various session plans for you to adapt – Discuss where 1v1s happen on the pitch –…

This practice is designed to work on high speed attack, defensive recovery runs and has a physical and psychological focus. Physically, the practice demands high speed runs in attack and defence. Mentally, players are tasked with demonstrating real desire and an attitude to compete. This is a valuable session for helping players physical conditioning through football. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you…

Football can be a powerful evoker of emotions. But, as coaches, it’s vital that we remain calm around our players and don’t let emotional responses govern our actions. Below, coach and author David Mayer discusses the importance of emotional awareness, and how developing emotional control can help us to create better learning environments for our players. In This Article Being Aware of Your Emotions In all walks of life, we can benefit from understanding, and knowing how to react positively to, our emotions. This is…

Jack Burns is a Kinesiology student at Jacksonville University and former Chelsea & Portsmouth Academy player. Jack opens up about the harsh realities around pursuing football as a career & how athlete welfare and happiness should be at the centre of a coaches approach. Within the sporting realm there is often ample talk pertaining to words that centre around ideas of psychology, be it mental toughness, grit, confidence, resilience, or assertiveness. As I progress through my undergraduate education in kinesiology at Jacksonville University, Florida, I…

Player Development is a long-term process, requiring time and patience. Below, we draw on the expertise of authors and experienced coaches Keith and David Mayer to examine how coaches can adequately support players throughout the duration of their developmental journeys. In This Article The Personal Element of Coaching The ‘soft skills’ of coaching are arguably the most important. To be truly effective in our roles, we must get to know our players, build positive relationships, and make them feel safe in our coaching environments. Crucially,…

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Coaching for Character is about the players working on character building, developing character strengths and using the game of football to deliver this personal growth. This is not the time for a tactical masterclass from the coach, but a time for the players to work together, face challenges and get success. From a coaching perspective, use your observation and listening skills, ask questions and allow the sessions to flow. How Coaching for Character Works Section 1: Team Work & Collaboration Section 2: Resilience & Self-Regulation Section…

This practice focuses on defending with the outnumbered teams instructed to press furiously for a limited amount of time. The session is an excellent practice for physical conditioning and determination. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Do you want to improve your ability to plan…

An individual development plan is an important tool in helping a player to improve and appreciate their own progress. As coaches, we can use individual plans to help kids recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, identify the things they would like to improve on, and understand how they can do it. By working alongside players to create effective learning plans, we can facilitate self-reflection, encourage them to take ownership of their own journey in the game, and, most importantly, help them to develop as both…

Curriculums can be an invaluable source of guidance for coaches. They help us to cover a complete range of themes and topics, provide a framework for planning sessions across an entire season, and facilitate the consistent application of ideas and playing philosophies in all teams within a club or programme. Below, we explore the benefits of using a curriculum, and discuss ways that coaches and programme directors can implement curriculums within their clubs. In This Article Creating a Framework for Session Design The strictness with…

In order to maximise their potential, and thrive under whatever challenges the game provides, players must be creative, independent decision-makers. Therefore, a crucial component of coaching is helping players learn to think and act for themselves. This, in turn, requires us to give them autonomy in their developmental journeys. Below, we discuss ways to empower the kids we coach, and encourage them to take ownership of their learning and development. In This Article Encouraging Accountability within Our Teams A key step to giving players ownership…

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